A key factor in dendritic cell (DC)-based tumor immunotherapy is the identification of an immunoadjuvant capable of inducing DC maturation to enhance cellular immunity. The efficacy of a 50S ribosomal protein L7/L12 (rplL) from Mycobacterium tuberculosis Rv0652, as an immunoadjuvant for DC-based tumor immunotherapy, and its capacity for inducing DC maturation was investigated. In this study, we showed that Rv0652 is recognized by Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) to induce DC maturation, and pro-inflammatory cytokine production (TNF-alpha, IL-1beta, and IL-6) that is partially modulated by both MyD88 and TRIF signaling pathways. Rv0652-activated DCs could activate naïve T cells, effectively polarize CD4+ and CD8+ T cells to secrete IFN-gamma, and induce T cell-mediated-cytotoxicity. Immunization of mice with Rv0652-stimulated ovalbumin (OVA)-pulsed DCs resulted in induction of a potent OVA-specific CD8+ T cell response, slowed tumor growth, and promoted long-term survival in a murine OVA-expressing E.G7 thymoma model. These findings suggest that Rv0652 enhances the polarization of T effector cells toward a Th1 phenotype through DC maturation, and that Rv0652 may be an effective adjuvant for enhancing the therapeutic response to DC-based tumor immunotherapy.
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